Wander project Cincinnati Ohio

IMG_1005When we lived in Cincinnati Ohio many years ago now, the Children’s Museum was actually in a building that was a converted Warehouse near the Ohio River. The Ohio was a bustling river for transporting goods around the middle of the East Coast of the US. Cincinnati Ohio was long a large port for shipping on the Ohio and via the highways that intersected at Cincinnati. The warehouse was converted into offices and the original children’s museum. My wife and I at various times took the kids to that museum.

IMG_1018With the new complex in the old Central Station building, they also moved the Children’s museum. Living in Greenwood at that time, we were already spoiled by the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis Indiana. It (the Indianapolis Children’s Museum) is one of the best in the world.). My father was a huge advocate of the inquiry method of education. In particular, he focused on science education and what better place to let children learn than a children’s museum!

That way, whatever water gets spilled isn’t on the floor of your house!

Other than the Children’s Museum there was also the Natural History Museum and a wonderful exhibit/display of the train past of Cincinnati. One of the things I learned was that the grottoes used in one of the original Batman movies by Hollywood was located in Cincinnati Ohio. I never knew that until wandering to the museum. You see what you can learn when you wander? You can learn if a Batman movie was shot in a city you used to live in!


seeking Batman caves everywhere

Wander project last post first cruise!

DSCN0516We chose poorly when it came to cruise companies. Not by choice and not that all of the companies were single’s cruises, but this particular one was mostly singles. There were a few families, but for the most part, it was a loud partying singles cruise. Oh well, lesson learned! We stopped first at the Grand Bahama Island, the first thing my wife wanted to do was have the cranky boys take a nap, so my daughter and I went on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the town of Grand Bahama.

(link to more pictures)

DSCN0498The water was amazing, clear and just warm. Our next stop was Grand Cayman island. We wandered the island by foot, went on a glass bottom boat and marveled at how clear the water was as we wandered! We had lunch on the island and then boarded the glass bottom boat tour. Our last stop on tour will be covered in a post later on although I have talked about it many times, Xcaret on the island of Cancun.

My last part of this post is the second great family story. My wife and I disagreed about traveling concepts and processes often early on. Even though I flew a million miles over the course of 10 years we still often disagreed. In this case, I ended up being right. We didn’t take the boys car seats with us on the boat. My wife wanted to leave them at Miami’s airport. I tried to point out that it would just slow us down (as we were not leaving from the same airport). But to no avail, I lost the argument but ended up winning the war. When we docked at the end of our cruise, I had to take a cab to the airport we arrived at, get the car seats, come back to the harbor and pick up the family and go to the airport we were leaving from. I was right! Sadly being right meant I had to spend an extra two hours in cabs.


Family Historian

Wander project Oak Island, NC again!!!

IMG_1043The house had a deck/porch that extended nearly all the way to the beach. There is something about the sound of waves on the beach. I am a huge fan of water anyway, but beyond simply being around water, there is just something about that sound that is magical. It takes away the stress of the world and lets you just be for a time. The primordial sea that lies within us calmed by the sound of the mothership we call the Ocean.

IMG_1062Breakfast that morning was amazing. Bacon and Sausage with eggs. The sun was rising over the Atlantic Ocean, and we were at the beach. When my sisters and I were younger, and we lived in Thailand we spent many weekends on the Beach. Mom and dad would rent a cottage in Pattaya, a resort city on the Gulf of Siam, near Bangkok. We would go an frolic in the Ocean. Some of my happiest memories of Thailand are from those weekends at the beach.

Dad, as was his tradition was engrossed in a book. He loved to read and this weekend was no exception. He had several books with him so that he wouldn’t run out of things to read. We began the day with a short wander around the small town of Oak Island. It isn’t a large city, disconnected from North Carolina because after all, it is an island. It is also not the Oak Island of the Discovery Channel TV show about searching for the treasure of Oak Island. That Oak Island, with the purported treasure, is in Canada.


Not hunting for treasure on Oak Island although I did find some :0(

Wander project Oak Island NC…

IMG_1000In the summer of 2013, we wandered as an entire family to a little location in North Carolina known as Oak Island. It is an interesting family vacation. First off my nephew had moved to Seattle Washington the year before, and two years before that (2011) we had moved to Maryland. The family was spanning the country. We had gotten together in 2012 for Christmas, but in 2013 we (Maryland Andersen’s) hadn’t gone to Christmas because I had an inner ear infection (and frankly even moving was painful).

IMG_1017My nephew flew from Seattle to North Carolina. My sisters packed their families and drove to North Carolina. My mom and dad rode along with my youngest sister, and we headed south from Washington DC. Barb had to work that Friday, so we didn’t leave DC until 5 pm. The sad reality of that was of course that we hit DC traffic and didn’t make it to Oak Island NC until well past 3 in the morning. It was a tough drive. Both of us (My wife and I) were exhausted from working all day. Plus, sitting in DC traffic for three hours just to get to I95 south made for a long, long trip.

Mom and Dad had rented a wonderful cottage/house right on the water. The next morning, groggy and not awake, we arose to the joyous smell of breakfast. Is there a finer meal than breakfast made by somebody else? I think not! All of us were there, mom, dad, the nieces (both) nephew (one), my sisters, their husbands. It was a wonderful chance for all of us to be together and relax as a family. Plus, the beach was right there…


there are times…

Wander project 3rd trip to KL Jan 2005

IMG_0512The last trip and of course the least pictures of all was January 2005. The trip was way over planned regarding the time required and the time available. As in, my time was planned for the newly implemented 28 hour days. I was familiar with the account, city and frankly, time was the only thing I wasn’t going to have. We were rushing to get the project done and delivered to the customer with both our partner and us working on two different work streams.

IMG_0518We were finishing up the initial part of the project, and we were also running a proof of concept. Overall this is the very best part of a project like this. The issue was the days were long, and there wasn’t any time to stop, and see things in KL. That is why the number of pictures goes way down (120 + from the first trip. Less than 25 for the second trip and less than 20 for the third trip).

KL remains one of my all-time favorite cities. Somewhere in the buried mass of slides my father left me, scanned and stored are his pictures from his trip to KL. Dad was in KL in the 70’s or 80’s I think. I am not completely sure of the dates he was there. I remember the pictures he took were of a city covered in mist. When I was there, it was a city covered in the dust of construction. My friends and I have many in the fair city of KL, tell me that the construction boom has lessened and the city is back to just being hot and muggy!


Missing my pals in Malaysia!

Wander project second trip to KL…

IMG_0428The second trip to KL was during the first part of December 2004. The funny thing about business travel is that once you have been somewhere the next time you go, things are different. But they are different in that you have been there before. There are less touristy things to do and more focus on getting the job done. I did transfer to the JW Marriott hotel. I have to say that hotel has the best lounge (Concierge Lounge) I’ve ever had an opportunity to sit in. The first few pictures in this share are family Thanksgiving 2004 in Tallahassee Florida.

Marriott always lets’IMG_0446 Platinum rewards members in their lounges for free (you don’t have to pay the extra fees to be on the Concierge level). The lounge was two floors, the very top of the hotel and it was amazing. Nice breakfast buffet served there every morning. Nice snacks there as well at night. Plus the JW, like the Mandarin, was also attached to a mall. That meant I had plenty of places to wander and browse.

The other thing that was fun for me was the restaurant not in the JW, but in the lobby of the mall area. I can’t remember the name, but it was one of the best restaurants I ever had a chance to eat in. When you travel for business, you get used to eating alone. The first few times it is a little disconcerting to ask for a table for one. They usually put all the business travelers into the same area of the restaurant I guess as a cautionary tale for the rest of the diners. See, get the wrong job, and you as well will be eating alone.


family historian

Wander project Malaysia truly Asia!

IMG_0265All the pictures today come from the October 2004 trip i took to Malaysia. I got a call from the original team lead (another person took over between my first and second visit). He asked me at that time if I was comfortable coming to Malaysia and working on the project. I said of course – I love Southeast Asia. After he called, the regional folks called me. They were worried about the smaller teams ability to deliver a project of the size of the migration.

IMG_0279Frankly, I was more worried about the regional team. Small teams can do very well in working on larger projects. Regional teams sometimes forget why they are regional. I spent the first couple of days in the regional HQ before heading over to KL. The regional HQ was in Singapore. KL or Kuala Lumpor is in Malaysia. They are separated only by an artificial line. Singapore is the tip of the Malaysian Peninsula.

On the other side of Malaysia is Thailand.

It makes for interesting culture and history. Thailand and Malaysia have had a dispute about the stretch of land between the two countries for many hundred years. The strip of land is currently part of Thailand, and has been for awhile, but Malaysia still claims that it is part of Malaysia. So there is that open dispute. Malaysia is a Muslim country and Thailand a Buddhist Country, so it is interesting to see how each side handles both the religion of their own country but also that of the other.


long time wanderer

Wander project Connor Prairie Indiana…

DSCN0114North of Indianapolis Indiana is a wonderful pioneer Indiana living history museum called Connors Prairie. It represents how Hoosiers (someone from Indiana is called a Hoosier) lived in the 1800’s. Indiana became a state in 1819 and before becoming a state was the Capital of the Northwest Territories. The Northwest Territories joined the United States with the purchase of land from France in 1803 known as the Louisiana Purchase.

DSCN0117We went to Connor Prairie quite a few times over the years. The location is tucked away from the road, so you don’t hear modern world noise as you wander. The village/town has actors who play the various characters in a traditional Indiana village of the time. They speak as though they live in the town. I always enjoyed interacting with the characters. It takes great skill not to break into laughter I suspect as crazy people talk to you!

The other thing they have is an adventure area. That is the place where you can go and recreate or learn how people did things many years ago. Want to read a book at night? You better have candles, so you better make them first. Dipping candles was always an interesting activity. Mine, the ones I dipped always looked lopsided, and I am not sure how well hey would burn as far as lighting the night to read a book. Plus the candle flickers so I think reading would have been hard.

Just another wander day captured for the Wander Project.


Oh the places you end up when you wander…

Wander project back at Brown County State Park…

IMG_2377I thought I would spend another day verbally wandering Brown County, State Park. There were so many things to do in the park. One of my favorite places to go wasn’t easily arrived at from roads. You had to hike into the heart of the park to stand in timber that was well they call it virgin which doesn’t seem right to me. I would call it original timber. A part of the park that had never been harvested or changed. The same woods that had he traversed a little north Daniel Boone would have seen. The same type of forest that young Abraham Lincoln walked through as he worked on the farm, or just was out hunting.

IMG_2391Woods undisturbed by humans. Other than those of us wandering around, the trees were untouched by humans. Simply an amazing concept to me. They also, in Brown County State Park, have some recreated buildings that are representing what pioneers would have used or considered. These rebuilt buildings are fun to wander around in. Just to see what life might have been like 100, 200 and 300 hundred years ago.

A park is a place that I could mark transitions in my life. There was, as mentioned yesterday, a time when my parents took me to the park. We would arrive at Brown Country State Park (for many years in our Blue Mercury Station Wagon) and wander around one of the lakes on the Park Grounds. We would see green snakes, hawks, squirrels and sometimes if we were quiet Deer wandering the trails near the human trail. Then I went on my own to the park as a Boy Scout, and finally, I brought (with my wife) my children. The full-cycle of park life.


family historian

Wander project Brown County State Park…

IMG_2362Brown County state park. Over the years I have to say that park changed in many ways for me. When I was young, my father/mother would take us on hikes in, near or around the park. My dad loved being outdoors. I learned the names of plants (that I forgot before the end of the walk). I learned how to enjoy the outdoors (despite, the constant complaining, ok I was the one complaining). But in the beginning, Brown County State Park seemed a million miles away from the bustling town of Bloomington Indiana.

IMG_2380Then as a Boy Scout, we camped there often. The park has some primitive camping areas. As our group got older, we camped in places that didn’t have all the amenities (running water is the big one). But in the beginning, we camped in the State Parks. We used to play tag on the huge wooden play areas built in the park. Now, I suspect they would never build play areas out of railroad ties, but when I was young, we didn’t care. Now, I would worry about what the tar that coated the ties were made of; then we just cared about who was it.

As a parent I found myself enjoying showing the kids some of the things my father showed me. Taking the short trails throughout the park to see the many things you can see in nature. But as well, enjoying the many shows that they had the park. Wildlife shows, and nature shows about the flora and fauna of Indiana. I guess I had come full circle, but I have to say I still forgot the names of every plant before the end of the walk. Even when we were reading them on signs posted in front of the plants.


Family Historian